ALSO Youth, a nonprofit organization serving LGBTQ+ youth in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, is pleased to announce the hiring of James Robinson as Executive Director. He will assume the role on April 13, 2020 and brings 20+ years of nonprofit and fundraising experience to the organization.
Mr. Robinson recently served as Development Director for De LaSalle Academy of Fort Meyers, FL, a school-based program for children living with learning challenges. Prior to relocating to Florida, he served as the Executive Director of Youth Pride - Rhode Island’s only LGBTQ+ Youth Center, where he increased the Center’s programs, services, staff and outreach to youth. He has worked for many organizations over the years in HIV/AIDS activism, healthcare and community development.
We have ambitious plans to continue our growth and outreach into both counties, and we believe James is ideally suited for the role. We also wish to thank Donna Hanley, our interim Executive Director since September 2019 for returning to lead the organization and provide a steady hand while we searched for a new Executive Director,” ALSO Youth Board President, Mary Tavarozzi, stated.
Mr. Robinson holds an advance degree in Urban Affairs from Hunter College in NY and is looking forward to his new role and meeting our community of supporters. He notes “I am so excited to join the dedicated Board and staff of ALSO Youth. It is as important now as ever to support and advocate for LGBTQ+ youth in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, and I look forward to getting started”.
About ALSO Youth: At ALSO Youth we believe that you should celebrate who you are, what makes you unique and why you matter. We provide a safe, inclusive and affirming environment. Our mission is to empower youth to foster relationships, develop personal and professional skills and to create inclusive communities. ALSO Youth is open to young people between the ages of 13-21. Our programs and services build self-esteem and help ready you for various life stages.
Non-Profit Organization: ALSO Youth
Favorite LGBT Group: Diversity: The Voices of Sarasota
Annual Event: Sarasota Pride - Winter Wonderland!
LGBT Activist: Shannon M Fortner
LGBT Owned Business: Mellow Mushroom Sarasota
Favorite Business: The Reserve SRQ
Area Attraction: The Ringling
Performing Arts Venue: Asolo Repertory Theatre
Pet Lodging: SPOT srq Dog Grooming
Realtor: Jim Jablonski
Insurance Agency: Allstate Insurance Agent: Richard Dean Plummer II
Hotel: Art Ovation Hotel, Autograph Collection
Travel Agency: myXOAdventures
Apartment Community: ARCOS Apartments
Church: MCC Church of the Trinity
Salon: SALON FORTY ONE On Palm Avenue
Fitness Center: Balance Health + Fitness
Health Care Professional: Complete Care Group
Community Bank: Sabal Palm Bank
Beauty Spa: The Laser Lounge Spa of Sarasota
Make-UP Artist: MOD Makeup on Demand
Coffee Spot: The Reserve SRQ
Restaurant: Sage SRQ
Chef: Christopher Covelli
Brunch: Station 400 Sarasota
Happy Hour: G2H2 Sarasota - Gay Group Happy Hour
Bar: Purple Rhino Lodge
Bartender: Hunter Vance
LGBT Bar Purple Rhino Lodge
Drag Queen Bingo: Beneva Fruitville's Drag Queen Bingo Bonanza at McCurdys
Boutique: Pixie Dust Metaphysical Boutique
Wedding Venue: Selby Gardens - Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Interior Designer: Interior Design Society of Sarasota
Gallery: The Ringling
Artist: Tom A. Ford
Photographer: Samantha Ponzillo Media
Musician: Jami Sophia Gee
DJ: Lucy Blu
Adult Novelty Store: Giggles Sarasota
Drag Personality: Beneva Fruitville
Social Media Personality: Joey Panek
Youth: Tyler Lerch
ICON AWARD: Margaret Good
ALSO Youth, a Sarasota based nonprofit organization that provides peer support services, educational programs, advocacy, and referrals for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth ages 13 to 21, their families and friends, and the community, announced today the resignation of its Executive Director, Nathan Bruemmer, JD, effective August 31, 2019. Mr. Bruemmer had served as the Executive Director for the past two years.
“We appreciate Nathan’s leadership during a crucial time in ALSO Youth’s history and look forward to further growth and deepening of the work spearheaded during his tenure,” said Lana Bruce, President of the Board of Directors.
“As family demands require me to step away, I am proud of the hard work and great strides we have taken over the past years to meet the growing and evolving needs of the youth,” said Mr. Bruemmer. “I am incredibly humbled by the courage our kids have shown by raising their voices to express their needs. It has been my honor to serve them.”
Donna Hanley, MA, LMHC, the former Executive Director of ALSO Youth, will serve as interim Executive Director effective September 3, 2019.
For over 25 years, ALSO Youth has been empowering LGBTQ+ youth and their allies and building inclusive communities. Founded by parents and community members, ALSO Youth serves Sarasota and Manatee counties through advocacy, outreach and by providing a safe space “drop-in” center.
Over the Holidays the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast of Florida hosted their 10th Annual Gingerbread Festival at its new home at the University Town Center Mall. Over 150 groups and organizations entered houses including ALSO Youth. ALSO's Gingerbread house sported a rainbow exterior with a painted yellow heart above the door and proudly displayed an ALSO sign. Check out the full photo gallery HERE
1st – Tatum Ridge Elementary – Ohio Farmhouse
2nd – Tatum Ridge Elementary – Maine’s Fish Hut
3rd – Girl Scout Troop 1876 - Juniors
1st – Pine View Middle – Student Astronaut Challenge
2nd – Girl Scout Troop 308 - Cadettes
3rd – Girl Scout Troop 127 – Cadettes #2
1st – Girl Scout Troop 115 – Seniors and Ambassadors
2nd – North Port High School – National Honor Society
3rd – TIE: Riverview High School – Papillon Club – Mentors
Girl Scout Troop 303 – Christmas Cheer
1st – Children’s World Uniform Supply
2nd – The Circus Arts Conservatory
3rd – Bradenton Herald – Advertising Team
SarasotaOUT.com kicked off the holiday season by participating in #givingtuesday a global initiative that follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday and focuses on giving back to the community. SarasotaOUT.com created a campaign for 6 local non-profits including, ALSO Youth, CAN Community Health and Purple Rhino. This year with the communities gratious support we were able to raise $725! Make sure you keep the holiday spirit alive by giving back to those who need and appriciate your support! Happy Holidays from SarasotaOUT.com
By: Joshua Beadle
In this month's midterm elections, voters across the country sent a record number of LGBT candidates to Congress and Colorado elected the nation's first openly gay governor. These victories come 40 years after the assassination of the first openly gay elected official in California — Harvey Milk.
Last night Shannon Fortner, ricipient of Sarasota's 2018 ICON award, hosted a demonstration at Five Points Park to remember the San Francisco Board of Supervisor who in 1978 coaxed the city council to pass a gay rights ordinance that protected gay people from being fired from their jobs.
On Nov. 27, 1978, Supervisor Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White, a former police officer and former city supervisor who had clashed with Milk over LGBTQ issues.
A hand-full of candle lit supporters, gathered on the rather chilly night in front of a rainbow lit sign of Harvey Milk. Shannon spoke with a megaphone, standing on a soap box and referenced the tragic Pulse Nightclub shooting from June 12, 2016, stating, "Our hearts beat on to honor the lives we've lost" and reminding us that the work we do each day keeps Harvey Milks' legacy alive.
The success of LGBTQ candidates in the midterm elections would have been hard to imagine four decades ago when Milk first won office. In his life he was a political hero, in his death, a martyr. His existence though, led the way for future generations to fight for our LGBTQ rights. Harvey would be proud.
Members of ALSO Youth, Divine AF, SarasotaOUT.com, Firefly SRQ and a handful of curious patrons were in attendance.
and the winners are....
Favorite Non-profit Organization: ALSO Youth
Favorite LGBT Annual Event: Sarasota Pride, Inc
Favorite LGBT Community Leader/Activist: Shannon M Fortner
Favorite LGBT Owned Businesses: Purple Rhino Lodge
Favorite Area Attraction: The Ringling
Favorite Performing Arts Venue: Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
Favorite Local Actor/ Actress: Brian Craft
Favorite Realtor: Nate Brooks
Favorite Hotel: The Westin Sarasota
Favorite Apartment Community: ARCOS Apartments
Favorite Church: MCC Church of the Trinity
Favorite Salon: SALON FORTY ONE On Palm Avenue
Favorite Beauty Spa: The Laser Lounge Spa of Sarasota
Favorite Restaurant: Tsunami Sushi & Hibachi
Favorite Bartender: Hunter Vance
Favorite Bar: Oasis - Sarasota's Premier LGBT + Venue
Favorite LGBT Club: Oasis - Sarasota's Premier LGBT + Venue
Favorite Drag Queen Bingo: Beneva Fruitville's Bingo Bonanza
Favorite Interior Designer/ Company: Beginning to End Interiors
Favorite Musician/ Band: Divine AF
Favorite Drag Personality: Beneva Fruitville
Favorite DJ: D.j. Brianna Lee
Favorite Adult Novelty Store: Giggles Sarasota
Favorite Social Media Personality: Joey Panek
2018 SarasotaOUT.com's OUT ICON AWARD: Shannon M Fortner
Sarasota's OUT Award winners:
FAVORITE LOCAL LGBTQ ANNUAL EVENT: Harvey Milk Festival
FAVORITE LOCAL NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION: ALSO Youth
FAVORITE LOCAL LGBTQ ACTIVIST: Nate Quinn
FAVORITE LOCAL HAIR SALON: d. cole hair design
FAVORITE LOCAL FITNESS CENTER: CRUNCH
FAVORITE LOCAL REALTOR: Robert Krasow Realtor with Michael Saunders & Company
FAVORITE AREA MUSEUM OR GALLERY: The Ringling
FAVORITE AREA ATTRACTION: Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
FAVORITE LOCAL RESTAURANT: Clasico Sarasota
FAVORITE LOCAL BARTENDER: Hunter Vance
FAVORITE LOCAL BAR: Barrel 87
FAVORITE LOCAL LGBTQ NIGHTCLUB/BAR: Elevate - Level 2 at Starlite
FAVORITE LOCAL HOTEL: Aloft Sarasota
FAVORITE LOCAL TRAVEL AGENCY or AGENT: ALandCHUCK.travel
FAVORITE LOCAL COFFEE SHOP: Pastry Art
FAVORITE LOCAL HAPPY HOUR: Barrel 87
FAVORITE LOCAL PERFORMING ARTS VENUE: Manatee Performing Arts Center
FAVORITE LOCAL ACTOR: Brian Craft
FAVORITE LOCAL ACTRESS: Corinne Woodland
FAVORITE LOCAL MUSICIAN/BAND: Eduardo Correa
FAVORITE LOCAL SOCIAL MEDIA PERSONALITY: Mattyson Barksdale
FAVORITE LOCAL PHOTOGRAPHER: Barbara Banks
FAVORITE LOCAL DRAG PERSONALITY: Brianna Summers
FAVORITE LOCAL ADULT NOVELTY STORE: Giggles Sarasota
2017 OUT ICON AWARD: Beneva Fruitville
As I woke up this morning I will thrilled to have checked my email and received a message from a G2H2 patron about a charity he was spearheading for ALSO YOUTH. I quickly sat down in front of my computer and wanted to share the story with SarasotaOUT.com readers! Check out PROJECT ALSO.
Today, I spoke with Raf the charity liaison for the Interior Design Society of Sarasota. The Interior Design Society or IDS is a national organization for designers, trades, and retailers who's mission is to raise money for local charities and student scholarships. Each IDS chapter is responsible for reaching out into the community in a program called IDS Impact. Our Sarasota IDS chapter has been working the sidelines for the last year to help renovate ALSO Youth’s drop in center located in Sarasota. They are now rolling their efforts out to the public with a campaign called PROJECT ALSO.
ALSO Youth is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides peer support services, educational programs, advocacy, and referrals for LGBTQIA youth who are 21 and under, their families and friends, and the community. ALSO Youth’s outreach includes LGBTQIA Inclusion trainings for organizations and businesses, “Ally 101” workshops for students/youth organizations, an ALSO Youth Ambassador program which provides a platform for youth to speak in the community as a panel or as individuals, Gay-Straight-Alliance/ Gender-Sexualities-Alliance (GSA) support to local schools, and more.
They are desperately in need of light construction to build private meeting rooms in their facilities so they can run multiple support groups and meetings simultaneously.
ALSO Youth is now in it’s 25th year and 12th year in its current location. They need the communities help. They are desperately in need of light construction to build private meeting rooms in their facilities so they can run multiple support groups and meetings simultaneously. Because of the nature of their meetings, particularly the weekly transgender meetings, more privacy is necessary to provide a functioning safe space for the youth to meet.
The IDS Sarasota chapter have set up a Go-Fund Me account and are trying to raise $8500. They have vendors, private donations and some materials donated already but are still thousands of dollars short. They are not only looking for monetary donations, they are also looking for Flooring, Furniture, Paint, Construction, Drywall, Wall Art, Rugs, Organization, Cleaning & Volunteers!
We at SaraostaOUT.com will help in any way we can and will cover the story as it progresses! If you would like to donate time or materials please reach out. email@example.com We are looking forward to see how PROJECT ALSO makes an impact on our community!
By: Joshua Beadle, Editor & Chief of SarasotaOUT.com